Celtic vs RB Leipzig predictions: Leipzig have the edge over desperate Celtic
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Daniel Childs
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Celtic have struggled to adapt to the demands of the Champions League
Celtic have struggled to adapt to the demands of the Champions League

Celtic have taken just one point at the halfway point in Champions League Group F and are in desperate need of a home win against RB Leipzig to get themselves back into contention. 

The Bhoys would be eliminated with two games to go if they lose to RB Leipzig and Shakhtar Donetsk register a shock victory away to Real Madrid. 

RB Leipzig started slowly with losses at home to Shakhtar (1-4) and away to Real (0-2), but last Wednesday's 3-1 success at home to Celtic has brought them back into contention. 

Team news 

Celtic's loss in Leipzig was compounded by a serious knee injury to captain Callum McGregor which is expected to keep him sidelined for the rest of the year. 

Centre-back Cameron Carter-Vickers and Giorgos Giakoumakis shook off minor injuries to feature in Saturday's 2-1 success at St Johnstone, but influential defender Carl Starfelt (knee) remains unavailable. 

Leipzig's victory over Celtic was marred by a knee ligament injury sustained by first choice goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi. 

Janis Blaswich is expected to deputise for Gulacsi and Konrad Laimer, Lukas Klostermann (both ankle) and Dani Olmo (knee) remain sidelined. 

Celtic will be without Callum McGregor for the rest of 2022
Celtic will be without Callum McGregor for the rest of 2022

The stats 

RB Leipzig started the season slowly but they are on a decent run – taking four points from two Bundesliga games either side of the 3-1 success at home to Celtic. 

However, they have gone four away matches without a victory since an 8-0 triumph over Teutonia Ottensen in the German Cup first round. 

Celtic are going through a rocky patch, losing three of their last six fixtures, but they were 2-1 winners at St Johnstone on Saturday. 

Prediction 

RB Leipzig dug themselves a big hole by losing their opening two Group F matches but they showed their offensive quality against Celtic last Wednesday and can make it back-to-back wins over the Scottish champions. 

With Real Madrid dominating the section it is possible that a fairly low points tally could be required to finish second. 

However, Celtic need to pick up at least a couple of victories and they are not going to hold out much hope of winning in Madrid on matchday five. 

The RB Leipzig game looks a must-win match for the Scottish champions but, if they approach the game with an attacking mindset, there are considerable risks attached. 

Celtic played some of their best football in the opening 45 minutes of the home game against Real Madrid and deservedly got to half-time with a 0-0 scoreline. 

However, they had to chase the game after Vinicius Junior's 56th-minute opener and were soon exposed – conceding three goals in a 22-minute spell. 

Ange Postecoglu's side will feel that they have to take the game to Leipzig but they are likely to offer up spaces in behind, and their opponents have the players to punish them. 

Leipzig's front four of Dominik Szoboszlai, Christopher Nkunku, Timo Werner and Andre Silva is arguably the second-best attack in the Bundesliga, and it needs careful attention. 

Celtic were unable to cope six days ago and a similar outcome is on the cards in Glasgow so backing Leipzig at 11/10 looks the way to go.

Tags

CelticRB LeipzigChampions League
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